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Flock Rebuilding – Pregnancy Scanning and Ewe Management

The project was setup in order for producers in the Eyre Peninsular fire affected area to learn more about the reproductive performance of their flocks and management options by using pregnancy scanning to identity dry ewes, ewes with singles and ewes with twins, and thereby rebuild the sheep flocks in the Eyre Peninsula fire area. 

Objectives

1. Learn more about the reproductive performance of flocks and management options by using pregnancy scanning to identify dry

ewes, ewes with singles and ewes with twins;

2. Improve producer understanding of the nutritional requirement of the ewe and how to condition score, thereby increasing ewe survival by improving nutrition for ewes with multiple lambs;

3. Increase lambing percentage from the average of 80% to 100% and reduce lamb wastage from scanning to marking;

4. Separate the dry/single/twin ewes and feed according to their nutritional requirements. Calculate the extra cost of the supplementary feed or feed saved;

5. Determine whether pregnancy scanning can increase productivity and is economically viable;

6. Increase gross margin for a self-replacing merino flock stocked at 8 DSE per hectare from $195 per hectare to $223 per hectare by increasing weaning percentage from 80% to 100%; and

7. Rebuild the sheep flocks on farms in the Eyre Peninsula fire area.

What was done

Producers in the group arranged for their ewes to be scanned in February and April. Individual farmers chose to either wet or dry scan for multiples depending on their management plans, then manage ewes according to pregnancy status. Supplementary feeding was given according to pregnancy status.

Ewes were condition scored at scanning, before lambing and at marking. Results were collated and discussed at the Sheep Production Group Meeting in March. A condition scoring workshop was also provided for producer participants.

Lambs were marked in June and August. In October, results were presented at the Sheep Group Meeting, where sheep weighing/electronic drafting equipment was demonstrated and individual farm reports were also delivered.

Downloads

Title Size Date published
305.2KB 12/10/2010

This page was last updated on 24/07/2017

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